Russell Crowe is ready to be entertained by “Gladiator 2” but confirmed he will not be involved in its production. Which makes sense because, of course, his character died at the end of the original film.
The Oscar winner revealed during RTÉ Radio One’s “The Ryan Tubridy Show” show that Ridley Scott and the sequel team have not “brought anything up” to Crowe “in a while.” The sequel stars Paul Mescal as an older version of Lucius, the nephew of since-deceased Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) who was killed by Crowe’s Maximus. Lucius is the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and grandson of Marcus Aurelius. Denzel Washington and Barry Keoghan are also in talks to star.
The follow-up is set to take place 20 years after the original film.
“I’m sure at some point in time they’ll want to ask me about something, but they haven’t brought anything up in a while,” Crowe said. “It’s an extension of the narrative, but it is long beyond Maximus’ passing, so it doesn’t really involve me at all. I hear that young fella Paul is a good dude and I wish him the best of luck with it. I think where they’re picking the story up from, a young Lucius, stepping into the role of emperor. I think that’s a very smart idea within the world of the film that we created.”
“Gladiator 2” is written by Scott’s “Napoleon” screenwriter David Scarpa. Original “Gladiator” collaborators including costume designer Janty Yates and production designer Arthur Max are returning along with director-producer Scott. Scott Free President Michael Pruss, plus Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher via Red Wagon Entertainment, are also producing.
“You know, no doubt I’ll end up having hundreds of friends of mine working on it,” Crowe added. “I already know designers and leather workers making the armor and things like that.”
He continued, “I don’t want to dwell on it too much because it does take me back to a period of time when obviously I was significantly younger. And you know, the rose-colored glasses of that experience now are perfectly crystallized. I look back on it and I loved every minute of it, and that wasn’t actually the case at the time. I do like being on a period movie set. Stepping into those sorts of costumes and those sorts of situations and stuff, it has great appeal to me. There’s a slight edge of jealousy that people get to have that experience that I had once.”
The “Gladiator” sequel was announced in 2018, with director Scott announcing the script was finalized in 2021.